In March 2022, Duarte attended the first AYP networking event of the year. One month later, he was set up and paired up, as a mentee on the AYP Mentorship Scheme.
Duarte and his business partner, set up Grown Agritech in January. Grown Agritech is a start-up company specialising in agriculture technology who develop sustainable and innovative products that help in producing local, fresh, pesticide-free food and bring production close to consumption. Whilst they have built a solid and exciting foundation for the future, they felt they could benefit from some external support and a mentor.
“I’ve lived in Aberdeen for over 4 years and as with being a co-founder of a start up in the city, I wanted to become a mentee through AYP to help my development. With founding a start-up comes all sorts of needs, from interacting with your market, learning the business culture of the city, building a network, doing a customer journey, and building that market fit business model. Having seen AYP and the Mentorship scheme on LinkedIn, it presented itself as an opportunity for myself to connect and communicate with local professionals, learn from them, and support the business to the best of my abilities.”
To Duarte’s delight, the Mentor that he & his business partner preferred to work with based on their experience and skills, was available and excited to engage with a business, rather than one individual.
But how has that benefited Duarte?
“Meeting a mentor with extensive industry experience through AYP has been a great opportunity. We’ve had great engagement with our mentor. We’ve discussed our business plan and our value proposition, and we are now left with a task to present a business plan draft to our mentor and following that they will be providing their inputs for improvements and possible new ideas for us to engage with the Aberdeen and Scottish markets.”
For Duarte and his business partner, doing this and putting themselves out there to receive feedback was new to them, but Duarte’s experience has been nothing but positive.
“We’ve been given the ability to effectively clearly communicate to the mentor what the value addition we are proposing is, which has led our mentor to being amazing, making themselves readily available to share their own experiences and support us”.
So, after stepping into this for the first time, what’s Duarte’s advice to anyone looking to do the same?
“I would strongly advise anyone looking for support in any areas of their life to pair up with a mentor, as the mentors who work with AYP have extensive years of experience in what they do. They are very likely to help provide a great degree of direction mentees need to achieve any objectives and ultimate goals they have.”
Since 2016, the AYP Mentor Scheme has provided connections and development to many people across Aberdeen and Shire. If you are interested in becoming part of it and want to work with a mentor to help further your development and career aspirations, get in touch via email - email@example.com
Our Mentors and Mentees will be publishing blogs as they progress through the AYP Mentor Scheme